CBD ‘ must lift its game’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BETTINA WAR­BUR­TON

A HUB of en­ergy and vi­brancy is what the newly ap­pointed mem­ber of the City Im­age Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee wants the CBD to be.

Townsville busi­ness­man Kevin Booth said the CBD and es­pe­cially Flin­ders St needed work.

“The CBD area needs to pick its game up from an im­age point of view, there’s a lot of run­down spa­ces, es­pe­cially along Flin­ders St,” he said.

“When you walk down the street and see build­ings that have been empty for 15 years and look like no one has been in them for 20 years, you know things need to change.

“As a short- term mea­sure, it can be as sim­ple as a lick of paint.

“That will help with the city im­age so when we get busi­nesses who want to start a ven­ture in the city, they are not se­cond- guess­ing them­selves be­cause of how things look.”

Townsville City Coun­cil re­cently in­vited a mem­ber of Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce on to the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

City Im­age chair­woman Mayor Jenny Hill said the com­mit­tee’s stake­hold­ers came from gov­ern­ment, com­mu­nity groups and busi­nesses and it was great to have Mr Booth on board.

“He can pro­vide com­mer­cial in­put as well,” she said. “We want the com­mu­nity to em­brace, be proud and help pos­i­tively pro­mote our city to at­tract peo­ple to come and stay here – not just vis­i­tors but for the res­i­dents as well.”

Mr Booth is a mem­ber of the cham­ber and is the chair­man of the Young Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“From a cham­ber point of view, we want to make sure that what is be­ing con­sid­ered and de­vel­oped has the thought process of the needs of the medium- small busi­ness op­er­a­tor,” the North Queens­land Au­dio Vis­ual di­rec­tor said. “It’s im­por­tant our mem­ber­ship base has a voice, and gives feed­back, on what di­rec­tion the city’s im­age will take.”

Mr Booth said the city needed to start now to pre­pare for the com­ple­tion of the CBD sta­dium in 2020.

“The sta­dium will be a game changer for the CBD,” he said.

“But we want to see the CBD given a lift be­fore that.

“There’s a con­cern that when the sta­di­um­stadi isi near­lyl com­pleted, and we’re months out from the first game, then peo­ple will re­alise the CBD needs more at­ten­tion, needs more busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We need to en­sure we keep the mo­men­tum go­ing, that new op­por­tu­ni­ties are opened up and build­ing own­ers are en­cour­aged to do up their build­ing and bring peo­ple in.

“We need to get the ob­sta­cles out the way now and not wait un­til the sta­dium is open and thou­sands of peo­ple start con­verg­ing on the CBD.”

RUN­DOWN SPA­CES: The new CBD Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­ber says the city needs a bet­ter look. Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

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